Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R.mus D. Ladislas Francis Keresztesy Parker, O. Praem.

Birth: December 19, 1915

Death: January 3, 2010

House: St. Michael's Abbey, Orange

  • Born in Vaskeresztes Hungary,
  • Vest. 14 Aug. 1935,
  • Prof. 15 Aug. 1936,
  • Ord. 20 Aug 1940,
  • Nominated administrator of "The Community of the Abbey of Csorna residing in California, U.S.A." 1 Oct. 1959,
  • Elected Prior de Regimine for life 6 Jun 1975,
  • Elevated to Abbot 20 Aug. 1984,  
  • Consecrated Abbot 19 Sept. 1984,
  • Re-elected Abbot for life, 24 Jun. 1991,
  • Abbot Emeritus 26 iun. 1995.

The "Primus inter Pares" of the seven beloved Founding Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey, Orange, California, U.S.A.


“But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish, they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace... They who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love; because grace and mercy are upon his elect.” (Wisdom 3:1-3, 9)

Our heavenly Father, the Lord of the living and the dead, has called to Himself
Reverendissimus Dom. Ladislas Francis Keresztesy-Parker
Abbas - Fundator Canoniae Sancti Michaelis in Orange
Sunday, 3 January, A.D. 2010, at 12:05 A.M.

Francis Pürker was born in German-speaking Vaskeresztes, Hungary on December 19, 1915. He attended school in Szombathely at the Norbertine gymnasium directed by confreres of St. Michael’s Abbey in Csorna. Upon graduation Francis entered the Abbey’s novitiate and received the name of Ladislas. After novitiate and profession, he completed philosophical studies in the studium of the Abbey and was then sent to Rome where he pursued theological studies at the Gregorian University. Fr. Ladislas was ordained a priest on August 20, 1940 and completed his doctoral studies in 1942 with a dissertation on “The Doctrine of St. Augustine on Hope.” Upon return from his studies Fr. Ladislas was named master of novices and professor of moral theology at the Abbey, posts he filled until escaping Communist Hungary along with his confreres in July, 1950.

Received warmly by Abbot Sylvester Killeen and the confreres of St. Norbert’s Abbey in DePere, Wisconsin, Fr. Ladislas and his companions served in a variety of ministerial settings doing both parish and academic work in the Abbey’s widely-spread apostolates. Fr. Ladislas, though, was the driving force enabling his fellow refugees to reunite in 1957, reestablishing both the common life in Santa Ana, California and a common apostolate at Mater Dei High School, at the invitation of Cardinal James McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angeles. He served on the faculty of Mater Dei until 1961 when in August a new foundation was opened as a junior seminary and novitiate of the Abbey of St. Michael’s in Csorna.

From 1959 -1975, Fr. Ladislas was administrator of the community with its growing number of seminarians. In June 1975 the community became an independent priory and Fr. Ladislas was elected the first prelate. In August, 1984, following the decision of the Order’s definitory, the canonry was elevated to abbey status and Fr. Ladislas was named its first abbot. Upon reaching 75 years of age in 1990, he was re-elected prelate. Abbot Parker became abbot emeritus upon his resignation in June, 1995. By that time and under his wise and loving governance the community had grown to 41 priests and nearly 60 confreres in all.

Photo gallery of Abbot Parker


Father Abbot Ladislas-Keresztesy Parker with his Arms - Succisa Virescit
"The successor-vine shall flourish"
quite an effective description of St. Michael's Abbey, Orange

With hat, guiding a tour in Rome with Hungarian Refugee-tourists, early 1950s

Outside the walls of Vatican City, with tourists, early 1950s

Early 1950s

Several of the Founding Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey in Orange were avid photographers

Late 1950s, reviewing plans for St. Michael's

In hat, within the Colisseum, describing its history and significance for the tourists.

Visiting Norbertine parishes in Montana in the late 1950s

At Bishop Street house in Santa Ana, California

Viewing the grounds for St. Michaels, 1959 or 1960

With students from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, breaking ground for St. Michaels

As a son of the land, Father Parker was very involved in the construction effort

With Abbot Simonfy of Csorna in the background, Father-Prior Parker in 1962

With a painting of Our Lady in front of the newly constructed St. Michael's (novices' wing)

Having lunch with one of "his boys"

Early 1970s

With five of the remaining Founding Fathers, late 1990s

At his desk

Attention to detail, and a tireless, conscientious worker

At one of St. Michael's annual "Fiestas" - fundraiser

Always with an encouraging word to say to each person . . .

Not just a great speaker and homilist - but a great Rhetorician in the truest sense

Able to speak to each person individually - personally - touching their hearts and souls


Pioneer, leader, guide, abbot . . .

Beloved by even the most exalted . . .

He remained in his heart and soul, a simple priest . . .


Beloved by his confreres and his friends . . .


and remembered in gratitude forever . . .

A Word of Condolence on the Death of Abbot Parker

Given by Brother Alcuin Weeden of Sayn Abbey, Rhineland, Germany

There are many who say the Age of Miracles is passed
That the Great and Good of this world are far away
That we must make do, get along and compromise
with all sorts of unsavoury thoughts, acts and deeds.

We know that this is not so.
We have proof.
Look around.

Here is a miracle, a thriving house of the Lord
Founded and lead by a man ridiculed by Nazis,
Persecuted by Russians, Rejected in his own land,
And who led a band of seven across a third of the
world to make this modern Miracle: this thriving Abbey.

Here is a great and good man, if people could only
recognise these qualities in those next to them.
He inspired many with his words and deeds,
who stood next to us and supported us through fat years and lean
who always had a smile for us and our hopes and dreams.

He had a vision: that we see a great light out of
the darkness in this world we live in. That great
light was the procession of white habits flowing
from this House to enlighten this dark world,
a bright reflection of the old house of Csorna — eventually
to refound it and give it a shining new dawn of its own.

We will miss him. But we should always remember
that he will ever be with us, right next to us
encouraging, supporting and available to us through
our prayers and memories. He remains our friend,
and we will see him again. He will be there to greet
each of us as we complete this same journey.
+ + +
From Alcuin, one who was inspired in 1961

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